Big Companies Say It's Good Business to Hire People with Autism

Big Companies Say It's Good Business to Hire People with Autism

The world’s third-largest software firm says people with autism will comprise 1 percent of its global workforce by 2020
Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 8:05am

CAMPAIGN: Diversity and Inclusion at SAP

CONTENT: Article

Patrick Viesti, 28, has Asperger’s syndrome, a disorder on the autism spectrum. It is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction along with repetitive patterns of behavior or interests. And yet on a Tuesday afternoon in March at SAP’s office in Newtown Square, Pa., he is making a presentation to a roomful of managers.

He’s part of a pilot program at SAP, the world’s third-largest software company, called Autism at Work. SAP has hired 30 employees with autism around the world — in Ireland, Germany, India, Canada and the U.S. — and plans to hire more than 600 others with autism by 2020, totaling 1 percent of its global workforce. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 1 in 68 American children meet the criteria for autism spectrum disorder.

“People affected by autism bring a tremendous amount of capabilities that are very important for us as an IT company,” said Jose Velasco, vice president of product management and head of the Autism at Work program. He has two children on the autism spectrum and says SAP sees great competitive value in hiring people with autism. 

Continue reading the orginal article about SAP hiring people with autism on Al Jazeera America >>

Original source: Al Jazeera America